School visitor policy: mainly common sense?

Security within schools is always an emotive issue, particularly given recent headline hitting events in the US.

Is your school at risk from unwanted visitors? Are your procedures adequate?

Most importantly, are staff fully briefed on your policy? Would they challenge visitors they didn’t know within the school, if they weren’t accompanied or wearing school visitor passes?

A lot of security comes down to common sense

A lot of ways to prevent unauthorised visitors comes down to common sense, which won‘t impact on an already stretched school budget:

  • Ÿ  Ensure only one main entrance is in use during school hours
  • Ÿ  Keep it locked from the outside, so visitors have to call or ring for entry
  • Ÿ  Have the entrance ‘manned’ by a receptionist or secretary
  • Ÿ  Make sure all playgrounds can only be accessed from within the school
  • Ÿ  All visitors – even parents who are known to the school – should use this main entrance and report to the receptionist/secretary.

Have a clear procedure for dealing with visitors

The easiest way to deal with visitors is to issue school visitors passes or contractor passes to all individuals, regardless of the purpose of their visit or how well known they are to the staff.

It’s important to adopt a one rule for all stance – if you break the rules for one visitor, your staff will lose faith in the procedure.

School visitor passes usually come as part of a ‘system’ that allows you to record visit date, name, host, company and vehicle information. All these details are held on a discreet bottom sheet, whilst pre-numbered passes are handed to the individuals. This creates a future reference sheet and a current fire register, which meets your health and safety obligations.

School visitor passes can be bought off the shelf, or customised to your own branding. You could choose to include specific school health and safety information for example.

Cost effective measure that won’t impact on your budget

There are, of course, many other ways to increase security within your school, from sophisticated access control systems to ID cards and biometric solutions. However not all schools want to introduce such measures, nor do they have the budget.

Our packs of school visitor passes in a system start from just £64.40 for 200 and include a writing board, wallet storage tower, pen set, wallets, clips and lanyards.